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  1. #1
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    Fork upgrade for Bear Valley?

    Hi all, first-time poster here ...

    I have a 2001 Bear Valley, and I'd like to upgrade the front fork, which is currently a Manitou Magnum, I believe. I specifically want something with a lockout, because I occasionally have to commute on regular roads and want to make it more efficient. Off-road, I don't do anything extreme, just light XC trail riding with the occasional uphill/downhill. What would be a good upgrade for this bike? Are there limitations in terms of travel I need to be aware of?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The Rock Shocks Dart 3 offers 100mm of travel and a lockout. Pretty cheap, too, being a basic fork. From what you describe as your intended use I think it would make a good upgrade.

    According to Bikepedia, The Manitou Magnum has 3 inches of travel (an inch less than the Dart 3). Not sure if this frame is has a strict rating as far as fork travel, but there is an 80 mm version of the dart (with no lockout, I think).

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Awesome, thanks for the recommendation; I'll check it out.

    What benefit do I get from going to a more expensive fork? I'm always afraid of buying less than what I need, and if I do end up riding more seriously, I wouldn't want to have to upgrade again, if possible. Does the Tora offer a substantial upgrade over the Dart, or would I have to pay a lot more for a usable upgrade?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantaro
    Awesome, thanks for the recommendation; I'll check it out.

    What benefit do I get from going to a more expensive fork? I'm always afraid of buying less than what I need, and if I do end up riding more seriously, I wouldn't want to have to upgrade again, if possible. Does the Tora offer a substantial upgrade over the Dart, or would I have to pay a lot more for a usable upgrade?
    Again, I am not aware of the official maximum fork travel rating for this frame but I would assume it would be 4 inches (do double-check that with Marin). As such, you should be looking for forks in the 80mm-100mm travel range. Some Toras have the "U-turn" travel adjustment (85-130mm), which I would assume will not be very useful for your intended use even if it is safe to use this frame with longer travel forks (which I believe it isn't)

    As far as the benefit you get from a more expensive fork, you can get an air spring fork (as opposed to coil spring in the Dart) which will save some significant weight, be generally more responsive and offer additional tuning options. More expensive forks also have things like that low-friction coating on the stanchions, often come with lock-out remotes (one of the Dart models comes with a remote lock-out, by the way), nicer graphics , etc..

    P.S. Whatever fork you buy make sure it has V-brake mounts (I am assuming you have not upgraded to discs or don't intend to).

  5. #5
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    Hey, thanks again for the reply. I contacted Marin and they said that the frame limit was 3" of fork travel, so that will be the primary limitation in my search for a new fork. Thanks for your help!

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